Biological Invasions

, 11:2055 | Cite as

Reproductive biology of Dikerogammarus haemobaphes: an invasive gammarid (Crustacea: Amphipoda) colonizing running waters in Central Europe

  • Karolina BacelaEmail author
  • Alicja Konopacka
  • Michal Grabowski
Original Paper


Dikerogammarus haemobaphes is a Ponto-Caspian gammarid that has invaded vast areas in Central and Western Europe. Our paper is a first presentation of its life history features in an invaded region. The study was conducted in the Vistula River in Poland from autumn 2003 to autumn 2005 in two sites differing in hydrological conditions with one being water reservoir. The results showed that the reproductive period lasted 8 months from April till October in both sites. Three generations per 1 year were observed: autumn (overwintering), spring and summer. Ten cohorts per year were distinguished. The individuals from the reservoir were much bigger than those from the other site. The fecundity of those specimens was also higher and they laid 52 eggs per clutch in average in comparison with 37 eggs in the river itself. The strong relationship between the number of embryos (in developmental stage 2) per clutch and the length of females was noticed. The overall mean egg size of stage 2 of D. haemobaphes was 0.430 ± 0.029 mm which is smaller than noted for native species such as Gammarus fossarum. A potentially high reproductive capacity, comparatively small eggs, short time of eggs’ development, fast reaching sexual maturation, short life span, tolerance to a wide range of environmental conditions, all promote the invasion of this Ponto-Caspian gammarid in freshwater ecosystems of the temperate climate zone.


Life history Fecundity Alien species Ponto-Caspian species Freshwater bodies 



This research was supported by Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education grant no. 2 P04C 090 029 and by the internal funds of the University of Lodz. We thank Professor Krzysztof Jazdzewski for his suggestions during collecting and analysing data and Professor Miroslaw Przybylski for his help in statistical analysis. We also thank Karolina Chaniecka for her help in measuring embryos.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karolina Bacela
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alicja Konopacka
    • 1
  • Michal Grabowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Invertebrate Zoology and HydrobiologyUniversity of LodzLodzPoland

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